Only four in 10 Africans have access to a reliable power supply, according to a survey by Afrobarometer.
The report,Off-grid or ‘off-on’: Lack of access, unreliable electricity supply still plague majority of Africans - also shows that in some countries the ratio is as low as four in 100 Africans, despite more living within reach of an electric grid than there were a decade ago.
On average, only four in 10 Africans, amounting to 41 per cent say their government is performing “fairly well” or “very well” in ensuring a reliable supply of electricity.
“While North African countries and Mauritius are able to provide reliable electricity for most or all of their citizens, they are the exception, particularly when it comes to serving rural and poor populations. In some countries, the electric grid reaches only a fraction of the population; in others, an extensive grid is undermined by inadequate supply and poor service.”
Afrobarometer found that now, across 36 African countries, 66 per cent live in zones served by an electric grid - a 14-percentage-point increase from 2005.
However of those connected, 69 per cent enjoy a “reliable” power supply, while about 9 per cent of connections work “about half the time”, 14 per cent said occasionally or 8 per cent said “never”.
“In a striking example, 96 per cent of Nigerians are connected, but only 18 per cent of those connections work “most of the time” or “always.”
Afrobarometer interviewed nearly 54,000 people in 36 African countries in 2014/2015 and concluded that “more than a century after the invention of the light bulb, a majority of Africans are still in the dark, either intermittently or constantly”